A record-breaking midfield masterclass from Anne Hatchard has inspired Adelaide to 67-point thrashing of Sydney in their AFLW semi-final.
Hatchard was outstanding with 36 disposals and two goals in the Crows’ 12.10 (82) to 2.3 (15) win at Norwood Oval in Adelaide on Saturday night.
Adelaide advance to an away preliminary final next weekend against North Melbourne.
The winners of Sunday’s Geelong versus Melbourne semi meet Brisbane in Brisbane in the other preliminary final.
Hatchard’s disposal tally is the most by a player in an AFLW final, surpassing the 35 touches of her teammate Ebony Marinoff in a 2021 preliminary final.
And Adelaide’s total score against the Swans is also the highest in an AFLW final, bettering Fremante’s 12.8 (80) in a 2020 semi-final.
“That was a really strong performance,” Crows coach Matthew Clarke said.
“It’s probably, to be honest, our first four-quarter performance of the year.”
The minor premier Crows swamped Sydney in the opening half with Hatchard collecting 21 touches as the hosts created a 24-point lead at the long break.
The triple premiership on-baller then booted the opening goal of the second half – the first of three Crows goals in a dazzling six-minute span as the margin blew out.
Hatchard and her midfield mates Marinoff (26 disposals, 13 tackles) and Danielle Ponter (24 touches, one goal) feasted on the ruck dominance of Jess Allan (25 hit outs) and Montana McKinnon (20 hit outs).
And Adelaide’s attack also fired with Yvonne Bonner, captain Chelsea Randall and Jess Waterhouse slotting two goals apiece to delight the parochial 4688-strong crowd.
Sydney’s Laura Gardiner (20 touches), Ella Heads (20) and co-captain Chloe Molloy (15, one goal) battled gamely against the Adelaide tide.
But the Swans struck early strife as Adelaide dominated territory in a powerful first half – midway through the second term, the Crows led the inside 50 count 22-3.
Adelaide led 5.5 to 2.0 at halftime and allowed the Swans only three more behinds in the match.
The host were 38 points up at three quarter-time before powering to victory with four more goals in the last term to end the season of the Swans, who didn’t win a game last season.
“We tried plan B, C and D and we’re just not quite there,” Sydney coach Scott Gowans said.
“We’re on a journey and learning – and we got a good lesson tonight.”
But Gowans couldn’t fault the effort of his players.
“When you bring the work and the intensity and you’re just beaten by a better team, that’s absolutely acceptable,” he said.
“We have just got to get better.”